Shane Lowry is having a ball after making the cut on his major debut.
But the Clara ace, 22, is lucky it wasn’t a smashing time after he threw his ball to Offaly fans after a tap-in birdie at the 18th for a 73.
Delighted with his finish, Lowry gave his throw too much power, overshot the crowd and almost broke the window of St Andrews Golf Club.
Safely through on three under par, he beamed: “It’s really satisfying to make the cut here in my first major.
“I really feel like I can push on and shoot a couple of rounds in the 60s. If I keep on playing the way I am playing and I manage to hole a few putts, I think I could finish well up there.”
He certainly gave his Offaly Army something to cheer about when he threw the ball to them afterwards.
He said: “It was great to get some support out there. There are a few heads over from home, so I threw the ball to them and nearly hit the window.”
The ball flew over the crowd and finished up in the front yard of one of St Andrews snootiest clubs.
It ended up in the pocket of one of the Ford family from Ballyfore in Edenderry, who had followed Lowry for all 18 holes on his Open debut.
After opening with a 68, Lowry got an early wake up call for his 6.52am tee time but took a while to get going in every sense as wind and rain lashed the early starters.
He said: “I set the alarm for 4.45 but didn’t get up until five past five. My plan was to avoid silly mistakes but I made a stupid double on the second.
“I just leaked my tee shot down the right and I was in a bush and had to take a drop.
“Walking off the green, the rain was pumping and the wind was pumping and I was thinking to myself – am I going to break 80 here?”
But Lowry dug deep to play the next 15 holes in level par before almost chipping in for an eagle at the last.
He said: “The weather calmed down a little and I managed to play well enough.
“I just kept on plugging away, making pars, and kept on telling myself pars were good.”
Lowry is ranked 88th in the world and knows that a good weekend will make him a certainty to make the top 100 who will tee it up in next month’s US PGA.
He said: “Majors are where you want to be, aren’t they? It wasn’t easy out there, I dug deep and I played sensible golf. After a double, it is kind of hard to do that.
“It shows how much I’ve matured over the last 12 months. Hopefully I can shoot a couple of good rounds at the weekend.
“If stay inside the top 100 I will be in the PGA next month and I’m really looking forward to that as well.”